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E-2 Visa: Buying a Business can speed US Immigration

August 29, 2013

First and foremost, let us state that WE ARE NOT ATTORNEYS. The information with which we are providing you is for you to further qualify with an Immigration Attorney, and though we can provide you with names of such people, we cannot provide you with further, more definitive information on the regulations.

Obtaining Visas for entrance into the USA is getting more difficult, in some ways; however, if you are a Business Person and have the qualifications – including the ability to invest in a business here – this can be a speedy way to enter the US.

Although an initial E-2 Visa only permits a two-year stay, the Visa can be extended almost indefinitely, as long as the business continues to qualify for E-2 standing. Because you are investing in a business purchase or startup, you do not need to rely on anyone else to sponsor you. There are a wide variety of businesses that would be eligible, according to current Immigration regulations. However, there are a number of qualifications:

1. Your originating country must have a qualified visa treaty with the US. To our knowledge, there are 79 countries or so that have such Visa Treaties.

2. You must have made, or be in the process of making a “substantial” investment in a business, in the US. There seems to be no real minimum investment, although it appears that an investment of $100,000 provides almost instant qualification. That is not to say that $100,000 gets you automatically in the Country! It means that the Government will pay serious attention to your application, if you are ready to invest that kind of money; anything less is not disregarded, but may cause your application to be scrutinized more heavily. Generally, the amount that is required varies with the kind of business you are purchasing.

3. The business must earn more than a “marginal” income. This means you need to prove that the business will not only break even on expenses, but that there would be sufficient Cash Flow or Profit to provide a livable income for you and your family. Some allowance is made for businesses that can show it will create local jobs or have a positive impact on the local economy.

4. You must have a “controlling interest” in the business, which normally means you must own at least 50% of the stock of the company.

5. Spouses can work in the business and are eligible for Work Permits, in order to do so. Children that are over 21 years of age can come in through the E-2 Visa, if they have a 50% ownership in the business. Their spouses are then also eligible for Work Permits. Our understanding is that no other family members are permitted to work in the US, outside of the E-2 business.

Again, you will need an attorney for putting this E-2 Visa into place. This information is provided solely in an effort to let you know that this program is available; however, although we could potentially help you with purchasing a business, we are not qualified to provide you with legal assistance in actually making the application.

It is not a simple process, but it is far better than many alternatives, and for that reason, it is a very popular mechanism for both obtaining your own business, and entering into the USA.

One note when working with Brokers is that we get an enormous number of inquiries from outside of the USA, and many of these are bogus. You will be required to provide firm documentation about your financial abilities, in order for them to take you seriously. This is not vastly different from what is required of people within the USA, but it does seem to take people by surprise when asked financially-oriented questions, almost from the very start.

Good luck!

(Receive in-depth, personal consulting online, with The BAF Group’s principal at .

The BAF Group LLC is a full service Business Brokerage, with a history of more than a decade of service. Its Principal Broker possesses 25+ years of Business Sales and Divestiture. Although most of our work is involved in the Mid-Atlantic States, we have represented Sellers and Buyers throughout the Continental USA, and a number of overseas Buyers, as well. Some of our listings and additional information about us can be viewed at Thank you for your interest.)

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